Constitutional horror: Clarence Thomas argues states can establish official religion

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iBlazed, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #1
    This article is from May, but I haven't seen it mentioned. I think it's horrific that a Supreme Court Justice can hold such blatantly unconstitutional views and still be on the bench. Very dangerous.

    Link
     
  2. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

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    #2
    Really?
     
  3. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    in a New York State of mind
  4. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #4
    Can you argue with the logic? Where in the constitution are states banned from having an official religion?

    That's not an endorsement of his stance though...
     
  5. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #5
    Oh crap, how long before the Governor of Utah declares LDS the state religion?
     
  6. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #6
    Won't happen. LDS are very against this sort of thing. It's right in our articles of faith.
     
  7. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #7
    They could try to define one, but would be rendered moot by Article 4, Section 1, plus would be prevented from being able to retroactively set one, per Article 1, section 10.

    So in short, they couldn't join with another state in their quest to establish another religion, as they still must honour all other states...

    .. Plus if they did try, their rules would come under congressional control, which Congress won't pass it, per the 1st Amendment.

    So Thomas is completely wrong here.

    BL.
     
  8. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

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    #8
    Common sense is the best argument against it. Most of the amendments don't mention the word state in them. If we go down this road, then a lot of amendments are going to apply to only whatever states want them.

    Any day now... or at least he'll try.
     
  9. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #9
    I agree but when I lived in Utah (back in the day) convenient stores didn't display cigarettes, there were no coffee cups on the tables in restaurants... You had to ask for it. Back then it was pretty much the unofficial religion.
     
  10. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #10
    When the vast majority are of one group, the cultural norms tend to reflect those of that group.

    There are quirky things about Georgia that don't occur in other states or regions I'm sure as well.

    When and where did you live in Utah?
     
  11. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

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    #11
    Not to derail the topic, but I would love to live in Utah. I really don't know why anyone would leave. I may not be a Mormon anymore, but they're some of the nicest religious people I have ever met overall. Then again, I mostly get to deal with baptists...
     
  12. Gutwrench Contributor

    Gutwrench

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    #12
    I'm no Internet legal scholar, but I'm not following your thought in either paragraph 1 or 2.
     
  13. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #13
    In Georgia we have two major religions. The Southern Baptists and the United Methodists. The Baptists start their service at 11:00 and the Methodists at 10:45... That's so that Methodists can get a jump on the good restaurants.

    I've lived in Utah three times in my lifetime. 1978 - 1980, I lived on DPG for several months out of each year. Beautiful housing area. We had a six bedroom house. Then in the early 1990's I was TDY at TEAD for five months and then stationed there for a year. The last time I lived in Murray. (900 E 5500 S)

    ----------

    I agree that it was nice to live among the LDS.
     
  14. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #14
    I think it's great having a few Mormon friends handy. If society were to collapse tomorrow, you wouldn't have to worry about food, cuz you already know people who have TONS.
     
  15. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #15
    Yeah, despite the bad press after prop8 we're pretty tolerant and welcoming people.

    Our state (Utah) was light green in the "tight vs loose" thread.
     
  16. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #16
    That is extremely funny.
     
  17. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #17
    Why is this guy on the bench?

    And Christianity would be a bad religion to adopt, considering some Americans as a whole are very anti christian in their behavior.
     
  18. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #18
    Article 1, section 4 of the Constitution:

    If a state were to establish an 'official' religion, they are still bound by the Constitution to honor all other State's laws, including those that have no religion established. So while they can feel free to establish one, they can't say that theirs is the only one. So it renders their 'official' one moot.

    Article 1, section 10:

    Bold for emphasis. Even if a state were to try to retroactively establish a religion, Article 1, section 10 prohibits it. Furthermore, any law that they pass to establish a religion comes under the scrutiny of Congress. Congress will not pass or condone such a law, per the 1st Amendment.

    BL.
     
  19. Gutwrench Contributor

    Gutwrench

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    #19
    Thank you bradl. I guessed that was your understanding. I don't think your application of Art 4, Sec 1 is correct when it comes to your example.

    But for discussion sake lets just assume you're correct. If it's so clear cut then why didn't Art 4, Sec 1 help same sex couples who were legally married in one state have their union legally recognized in a state where same sex marriages weren't recognized (like Texas)?

    When it comes to Constitutional questions it's rarely clear cut and it takes some hubris to declare a Justice as "completely wrong."
     
  20. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #20
    Considering Thomas' tenure on the bench, I think you can make good money on betting against him.
     
  21. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #21
    That is a good question. My guess is that there was no precedent that set it, until the first state legalized same-sex marriage. Then that would be set, which all other states should have had to abide by.

    BL.
     
  22. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #22
    He's right. Like it or not.

    For many years much of the US constitution did not apply to the states. It was only later after the 14th amendment in 1868 re-wrote the Due Process claus that the Bill of Rights applied to states

    Most people don't remember that those were ONLY rights against the federal government for the first 100 or so years.

    He might have some argument that the 14th amendments some how does not apply.

    I'm pretty certain the Establishment clause did NOT apply to the states before 1868.
     
  23. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #23
    I don't necessarily think that would be the way it would go down.

    A state might declare an official religion but I very much doubt they would attempt to require all to adhere to it, or not allow the presence of other religions in said state.

    Look at the Church of England as an example of how it might look were something like this to happen.
     
  24. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #24
    Based on the OP, I'm not surprised one little bit. The man CT is a sad excuse for a SC Justice.
     
  25. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Uh, no.

    Or, perhaps more accurately, which Church of England are you referring to?

    The one that burned heretics at the stake - or the one that ordains lesbian ministers and sends money to African Dictators?

    Because my money on an Alabama State Religion looks a lot more like Thomas Cranmer's than it does Rowan Williams'
     

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